Jason Allen / Amy Allen virus hoax spreads on Facebook

Filed Under: Facebook, Malware, Social networks, Spam

A new virus hoax is spreading on Facebook, shared by well-intentioned users who believe they are warning their friends and family about a threat - but, in reality, are just adding to the noise.

Messages being shared across Facebook warn users not to add as a Facebook friend people called "Jason Allen" or "Amy Allen".

IF SOMEONE WITH THE NAME JASON ALLEN OR AMY ALLEN TRIES TO ADD YOU..DO NOT ACCEPT.IT IS A VIRUS.

Here are some of the versions of the chain letter message we have seen:

ATTENTION ALL FACEBOOK USERS;IF SOMEONE WITH THE NAME JASON ALLEN OR AMY ALLEN TRIES TO ADD YOU..DO NOT ACCEPT.IT IS A VIRUS.TELL EVEYBODY BECAUSE IF SOMEONE ON YOUR LIST ADDS THEM YOU WILL GET THE VIRUS TOO.COPY PASTE AND RE-POST THIS.THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY FACEBOOK SNOPES..

HEADS UP EVERYONE
ATTENTION !!!ATTENTION !!! ATTENTION !!! ATTENTION ALL FACEBOOK USERS**... DO NOT ADD *JASON ALLEN*, ALSO IF SOMEBODY CALLED *AMY ALLEN* ADDS YOU, DON'T ACCEPT... IT IS A VIRUS. TELL EVERYBODY, BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY ON YOUR LIST ADDS THEM, YOU GET THE VIRUS TOO. **COPY AND PASTE AND PLEASE RE POST* THIS HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY FACEBOOK AND SNOPES

The truth is that this is a hoax. You're not really doing others a favour at all if you post or forward the warning to other Facebook users. It's just the latest example of the many hoaxes we have seen spreading over the internet for some years. Just last month we saw a very similar virus hoax spreading on Facebook, but using the names Jason Lee and Linda Smith rather than Jason and Amy Allen.

If you think about it, a warning about Facebook users called "Amy Allen" and "Jason Allen" isn't actually that helpful. After all, just imagine how many people have names like that! And if users called that weren't up to no good, and saw the warning being spread about them, wouldn't they just change their online names?

Furthermore, according to the warning, Facebook is said to have confirmed the threat. If that's true, then precisely where has Facebook confirmed it? Why is there no link in the warning where people can discover more about the threat?

Remember to always get your computer security advice from a computer security company. Friends may be well-intentioned in passing on warnings, but it's always good to check your facts before forwarding them any further.

If you want to learn about the real threats on Facebook you should join the Sophos Facebook page, where we'll keep you up-to-date on the latest rogue applications, scams and malware attacks threatening social network users.

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6 Responses to Jason Allen / Amy Allen virus hoax spreads on Facebook

  1. cody · 1057 days ago

    I actually know a Jason Allen in real life, I'll be sure to stop by his house and put him out Lassie style.

  2. Howiet · 1056 days ago

    But this doesn't tell us what the virus does???
    All of a sudden i'm getting hundreds of friends requests as are many other people and there's no explanation

  3. Holly · 1056 days ago

    My cousin posted this warning this morning...my boyfriend of 4.5 years is named Jason Allen. lol

  4. web tech · 983 days ago

    I haven't seen any hoaxes or malware spreading through Google +, will you guys be watching Google + for these sorts of things as well?

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.